After 100 days of consecutive exercising, this is what I learnt.
Johannesburg, South Africa (29 April 2021) – I did it!!! I made it to 100 days of consecutive exercise!!! What the actual, who is this guy even?
On the 18th of January, two days after my birthday (and the day after a massive hangover), I decided to start exercising continuously for 100 days… and I did it; I actually did it! I cannot explain how incredible it feels to set a goal and then work towards it every day and then actually achieve it!
100 days… how crazy, right? Many have asked why 100 days? What purpose does this actually serve in the greater scheme of things? Was there a scientific formula to get to that number?
And my answer… when last did you do something really good for yourself for 100 consecutive days? When have you ever done anything consistently for 100 days – besides the lockdown. Think about it, when last did you do something that would make you better, even just for a month?
One of my intentions for 2021 was to be more healthy, fitter and more aware of my body and mind; you see, the lockdown had taken its toll on me – both mentally and physically. The loss of normalcy, loss of incomes and loss of lives. This thing we are going through can feel like it’s almost never-ending and completely out of our control. But the one thing I can control and work on daily is my mind and my body…, and for me, exercise was a step in the right direction to doing just that.
I guess the biggest factor is that I had put on 10 kilograms in the lockdown – somewhere between not gyming, losing motivation and then there were the kit-kats, the wine and packets of chips I was eating daily. Lockdown had been ugly, and my vices were even uglier.
So I got up, decided to make a change and started doing something to better myself. Every day, just be better.
Some days were spent running in the morning and doubling up with an afternoon weightlifting session, while other days all I could do was a couple of ab-crunches while watching TV, but I set myself a goal to close my “rings” every day, and 100 days later I have achieved it!
I’m also feeling so much better… and not just about the way I look. Mentally, I am in such a good space, which means I approach things (and situations) better. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.
So much has changed in the last 100 days… I lost 8,5 kilograms; I can now run 6 kilometres without stopping and can also dead-lift 100 kilograms without breaking a sweat. Oh, I also know what a deadlift is now. But I have learnt so much more in this time that I wanted to share some of that with you, in the hopes that perhaps your “Day 1 to whatever” might start today (or tomorrow).
So here goes:
Anyone can do it!
The trick is just to start and to start small. It doesn’t matter what your ultimate goal is; the trick is to have one… and just start.
And take it one day at a time! Often, we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed and deterred by how distant our end goals seem to be but one day at a time allows us to focus on small wins while making our way to the big one! 100 days can feel like a lifetime away. 50 days can feel like a lifetime away. 10 days can feel like a lifetime away. But 1 day, that sounds way more manageable!
People (and things) will help your journey!
The missing ingredient in your diet, exercise in your routine, or even your plan may be accountability. Often, we know what needs to be done, but somehow, we choose not to do it. Instinct alone warns us that a kit-kat every day might not be a great idea and a run in the morning might be a better option, but without having someone or something that you answer too might be the thing that is missing.
It could be that damn Discovery Vitality Leaderboard, or your Apple Watch and those ring things, a personal trainer, a group class or even a buddy but find someone or something to keep you accountable!
The first 30 days are habit-forming!
Day 31 is when everything shifted up a gear. Yes, I was training daily, but I wasn’t really pushing myself. The first 30 days were spent making sure I reached the 500 active calories required on my Apple Watch, and that was enough for me… but something changed on Day 31 – suddenly, I wanted to run further, do more and reach better goals.
I upped my game and started averaging 1,200 Active Calories burnt every day while also averaging 10,000 steps daily!
The healthier you become, the healthier you want to be!
I have also found that the more I exercise, the more I want to exercise, so I added a 30-minute run to my morning schedule – just to wake my body up, and that means I have still have loads of energy for my hour of training in the afternoon on weekdays, and afternoon walks on weekends.
I am also choosing to eat healthier… because of the training; I consciously choose to feed my body with fresher, more natural foods. And that also means I am choosing to not drink alcohol on school nights and no more fizzy soft drinks ever. Geez, those things are the proper devil.
And I haven’t become this all-encompassing health guru where every insta-photo is me flexing; instead, I still drink wine, I still love a little kit-kat now and then, and on days where I am absolutely exhausted, then I choose to just go for a walk or do a little 30-minute yoga session to reach my fitness goals for the day BUT all of it comes down to the healthier you become, the more healthy you wan to be!
Balance is important!
You cannot become consumed by your goal or your health vibe. Balance is key. A 100-day journey does not mean pushing yourself beyond your limits every day or creating a stressful environment while trying to meet an unrealistic goal.
Some days were really hard, and to get through them, I went for a 10-minute walk. I did ab-crunches while watching TV. I drank wine.
Don’t get despondent if you feel like you haven’t done enough for “that” day; take a break, get up and try again tomorrow.
What you put in, you get out (or get rid of)!
I have lost 8,5 kilograms of fat. Well, I haven’t lost them; I know exactly where they have gone and shedding that extra weight has really made me feel good.
I am happy that I have seen results, but I don’t think losing the kilograms is my ultimate goal anymore. Perhaps just being healthier and happier is what has made this all worth it!
The journey is the destination!
Enjoy it! Celebrate every day you reach your goal for that day; it means you’re one step closer to your intention! Goals and positive intentions truly push us to be better, but the journey is actually the destination!
Every day I feel better about myself, my mind and my body. I am loving training with friends, going for walks in parks that I have never been to and spending time outdoors exploring my neighbourhood. I am learning more about myself, my mind and how capable I am, and I am loving every step I am taking on this incredible journey.
I have decided to do it all again, except I am ramping up my daily calories, and I’m taking you on the journey with me.
I have decided to start a “100 Day Challenge” group where we can celebrate our small fitness wins together, where we can share health tips and motivate each other on this journey.
- You can start whenever you like.
- Set your OWN goals and post your daily achievement here.
- Share healthy tips (food etc.).
- Motivate each other on their journey.
Whatever your day 1 is tomorrow (whether fitness, work or your own life goals), remember that you have the power to make your future better! Join the group by clicking here.
“Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.” – David Brooks.